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Judge denies bond reduction for father of murder defendant

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A Superior Cout judge on Monday turned down a bond reduction request by the father of accused murderer Phillip Michael Stroupe II, siding with District Attorney Greg Newman, who objected to any change in the bond from its current level of $500,000.

After a short hearing, Judge Mark Powell refused to lower the bond, meaning Phillip Michael Stroupe will remain in jail. His trial has not been set. Defense attorney Jason Hayes represented Stroupe.

Stroupe is charged with accessory ffter the fact to first degree murder, a class C felony, and has been in custody since his arrest on July 30. His son, Phillip Michael Stroupe II is charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping in the death of Mills River resident Thomas Bryson.

Investigators say the senior Stroupe parked and drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway when his son was on the run from authorities in Pisgah National Forest, attempting to signal him by flashing his lights and honking his horn. Investigators in McDowell County, where Michael Stroupe was captured and jailed, said in arrest warrants that the son tried to send his father to move the victim's body before it was found in a cornfield in Arden.